They’re icons of the golden state, purely majestic in nature. Our ancient redwoods are a very big reason to venture far and wide into the wild: Enjoy a free, docent-led, festive stroll through the famous old-growth redwoods at Big Basin on December 22, listening to The Nutcracker Suite along the easy .5-mile Redwood Loop. Or get up close to the bold beauties on a complimentary snowshoe tour in Calaveras Big Trees State Park (pictured). Every Saturday during winter the park hosts an easy, trivia-packed walk among the 300-foot-tall colossal conifers. For a peaceful sojourn in commonly crowded Muir Woods, combine the boardwalk bordering Redwood Creek with the Ocean View Trail for a less-traveled loop featuring the hulking redwoods of Cathedral Grove.
Nonprofit Tall Task: Since 1918 Save the Redwoods League has been protecting and restoring redwood forests, rescuing them from real estate development and fostering reforestation and conservation initiatives. Right now they’ve got an important fundraising deadline (December 31!), to help save two old-growth forests.